Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf Talk on My Thighs//Dani Putney


I ask them:

Did you want to be memorialized

behind a shadowbox of leg hair?

They respond with a kiss

across my thigh gap

and I say a thigh gap isn’t feminist

but they say hush, darling,

your twink body has never been so trans,

its kaleidoscope is buried in your skin.

              Excavate it.

Heather Love taught me to feel backward

but I’m unstuck.

I ask:

How do I become a woman?

               Nothing.

How do I become a man?

               Nothing.

I say guwapa

they say

               mabuhay

I say guwapo

they say

               mabuhay.

I’m waterborne across the delta

                                                         of my

                                                                    gender—

did I transcend flesh to become a goddess?

No, the queerest part of me is

black leg hair upon Cebuano skin,

curves splitting a tight waist,

hands with hairy knuckles and bony knuckles

and the softest knuckles anyone knew.

Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, Asian American poet exploring the West. They’re often lost in the kaleidoscope of their gender. Most recently, their poetry appears or is forthcoming in Noble / Gas QtrlyPrismatica Magazine, and Transcend, among others. Presently, they’re infiltrating a small conservative town in Nevada.